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December 31, 2003 Happy New Year!
Double-Layer Recordable DVDs - The DVD+RW camp in the recordable DVD format war has announced plans to release a double-layer disc on the market by this spring. The new discs will hold 8.5GB, or four hours of DVD-quality video - about the same as the DVDs pressed commercially to hold movies. The present single-layer recordable discs hold up to 4.7GB. The DVD-RW and DVD-R camp is also working on dual-layer recording, which involves writing to separate layers on the same side of the disc - much as some commercial DVDs have one layer which is DVD-video and another which is DVD-Audio. The plus and dash camps are now each so entrenched, and dual-format DVD burners are becoming popular, so experts see both approaches coexisting for a long time.
Ultimate Disc Management System - An ultimate entertainment management system has been developed by Indianapolis-based Escient. It uses an onscreen graphical interface allowing users to manage and control over 1,200 DVDs and/or CDs which are stored and protected in selected Sony, Kenwood or Pioneer DVD changers. The unit, the FireBall DVDM-100, can also be connected to their E-40 and E-120 Digital Music Managers, which allow streaming of MP3 sources and Internet Radio to multiple rooms in the home. The free Net database service provides desired information about the movies and CDs while watching/listening to them. The system organizes discs by genre so users can arrange all their movies and music by style. They can also create favorite movie or song lists.
Mini iPod Coming Soon - Apples iPod has become one of the worlds favorite bits of consumer technology. Celebrity useage hasnt hurt either, with Robin Williams and David Bowie, among others, seen with the compact gadgets. In the days leading to Christmas an iPod was being sold somewhere every ten minutes. Apple will be introducing a new smaller hard-drive iPod at the upcoming Mac World convention which will still be able to store 800 songs from websites or the users CD collection, and it will cost about a quarter as much as the cheapest current iPod. There will also be different-colored cases in addition to the standard white design.